Just like I never paid to watch Star Trek: Discovery (I watched the first two seasons during a free-week trial of CBS All Access), I wasn’t planning on paying to watch the new Star Trek: Picard series, either.
Now, I’ve decided I’m definitely not going to watch it at all, free or otherwise. This is because, as noted by Bleeding Fool’s Jamison Ashley, star Sir Patrick Stewart recently revealed that the series will feature elements that are anti-Trump and anti-Brexit. As a matter of fact, we’ve had concerns about this series for quite a while.
Star Trek: Picard is the first new Next Generation related Trek offering since the film Star Trek: Nemesis that’s neither a prequel nor set in an alternate reality. As such, it will address directly the destruction of Romulus which was chronicled in the 2009’s Star Trek, which in turn resulted in the creation of that aforementioned alternate reality.
In that (very well-done) film, Spock attempted to thwart a supernova explosion from annihilating Romulus with a previously never-before-seen substance known as “red matter.” He arrives too late to save the home planet of the Federation’s long-time enemies; nevertheless, just as he ejects the red matter to stop the supernova from doing more damage, he’s confronted by the Romulan vessel Narada. Both Spock’s vessel and the Narada are sucked into the singularity created by the explosion of red matter, and transported back through time.
Star Trek fans have since wondered about the ramifications of the Romulans becoming an endangered species. According to lead actor Sir Patrick Stewart, “Picard” will detail how the Federation faces a “refugee crisis” as a result of the destructive supernova.
Stewart will play the role, he says, as a way of injecting some of his own virtue into a world torn by Brexit and by President Donald Trump, he tells Variety Magazine in an extensive profile.
“Picard,” he notes, is “me responding to the world of Brexit and Trump and feeling, ‘Why hasn’t the federation [sic] changed? Why hasn’t Starfleet changed? Maybe they’re not as reliable and trustworthy as we all thought.”
Stewart goes on to describe both the United Kingdom and the United States as “f***ed.”
When you take a second to think about this, it’s just plain ridiculous. As noted by The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti, how can there be a crisis when the Federation has unlimited power supplies and virtually unlimited resources? It’s not as if Romulan (or other) refugees would be wanting for food, clothing, or housing when a few replicators can easily solve those issues.
“how can there be a crisis when the Federation has unlimited power supplies and virtually unlimited resources”
This doesn’t even take into account that the Romulans are long-time enemies of the Federation, and that their empire has a multitude of worlds available to house any refugees from the home world.
“How many can there be?” you might ask. Well, in the aforementioned Star Trek reboot, the Romulan ship Nero’s destruction of Vulcan resulted in roughly 10,000 homeless. So it’s not a very large number.
How would any of this reflect Trump’s USA and Brexit UK?
The answer is: it doesn’t. Which makes me worry just how ham-fisted “Picard’s” writing is going to be.
There also has to be consideration of the Dominion War and how the Federation dealt with possible Romulan infiltration in the early years of its existence: via tests similar to those seen in “Deep Space Nine” when the Founders infiltrated Earth (see David Goodman’s superb Star Trek Federation: The First 150 Years).
And who can forget when Captain Picard botched a chance to neutralize the Federation’s greatest threat, the Borg, in season 5 of “The Next Generation” (for which Starfleet Admiral Nechayev later — rightfully — blasted him)? Ironically, the Borg “Hugh” from that episode will also appear in Picard.
As most fans of the property are already well aware, Star Trek’s optimism, its portrayal of perseverance, defiance, and hope, that is all Brexit and embodied in many Trump supporters. I think the producers of this series are making a serious misstep and I for one am very disappointed.
Star Trek: Picard debuts on CBS All Access on January 23, and on Amazon Prime outside the U.S. on January 24.